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Friday, 11 October, 2002, 14:33 GMT 15:33 UK
Views sought on ferry link
Claymore at berth
The previous ferry service stopped operating in 1999
Plans for a reinstated ferry service between the remote Kintyre peninsula and Northern Ireland have been put out to public consultation.

Local businesses and residents have been invited to give their views on plans for the new service between Campbeltown and Ballycastle in Moyle on the North Antrim coast.

A 1m annual subsidy is being made available to the firm that wins the five-year contract to run the service, which is scheduled to operate for at least 11 months a year.

Lewis MacDonald
Lewis Macdonald: "Significant step"
The previous Campbeltown to Ballycastle ferry service ran in the summer months between 1997 and 1999, but was terminated because of unsustainable losses.

It was concluded that the service could only be reinstated with a subsidy.

The Scottish and Northern Ireland Executives agreed to provide the cash, after studies into the economic benefits to tourism and trade from the ferry link.

Scotland's Deputy Minister for Enterprise and Transport, Lewis Macdonald, said the four-week consultation process was an "important milestone" in the tendering process.

"It provides an opportunity for the local communities in Kintyre and Moyle to have a say in how the service is operated and their comments will be taken into account in the completion of the final documents," he said.

"The Scottish Executive, and our colleagues in Northern Ireland, remain committed to reinstating the service between Campbeltown and Ballycastle and today's announcement is a significant step."

The tendering process is being used to test the viability of the project.

See also:

08 Feb 01 | Scotland
29 Aug 00 | Scotland
04 Nov 99 | Scotland
13 Jan 00 | N Ireland
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